News Release News Release The City of Palo Alto
Communications Department
250 Hamilton Ave
Palo Alto, CA 94301


Subject :

Two-Alarm Fire on Maureen Avenue; Cause Determined
Contact : Barbara Cimino, Public Information Officer, Fire Department    650-444-6267
Palo Alto, CA – Fire Inspectors and Palo Alto Utilities representatives have been able to determine that a gas leak inside the structure creating an accumulation of natural gas was the probable cause of a reported explosion that destroyed a residential structure this morning. The ignition source has not yet been identified.

At approximately 8:30 AM, an explosion was heard by neighbors on Maureen Avenue. Palo Alto Communications Dispatch received multiple calls from residents in the immediate and surrounding areas. Palo Alto fire units arrived on scene of a single story residence that was fully engulfed in flames. The lone occupant escaped with only minor injuries from broken glass. The house sustained extensive damage and was declared a total loss. Two neighboring residences were damaged by the fire as well.  One structure had minor bubbling of paint, while the other house sustained some roof and exterior wall damage from heat and flames.    

Palo Alto's response included 3 Engine Companies, 1 Truck Company, a Rescue unit and Battalion Chief. Mutual aid assistance was provided from neighboring fire agencies including Mountain View, and Santa Clara County. A total of 33 fire personnel responded to the incident, including the Palo Alto Fire Deputy Chief and Public Information Officer. Maureen Avenue was closed to traffic between Cowper Street and Rambow. The fire was declared under control in approximately 30 minutes. There were no reported injuries to emergency response personnel.

The Palo Alto Utilities Department, Palo Alto Building Department, Palo Alto Fire Investigators, American Red Cross and Santa Clara County Public Health officials responded to the scene. The Palo Alto Police Department provided for traffic control and scene safety. Fire and Utilities investigators remain on the scene continuing their investigation.